Friday, 1 July 2016


There are so many serious subjects to write about at the moment. What has Europe learned by the massive loss of life during WW1 and WW2? That's relevant because today is the 100th annual anniversary of the Battle of the Somme where 1 million lives were lost. The UK's central political establishment is in disarray. (Fortunately Scotland's is not.) We have no real idea what the UK's referendum decision to leave the EU will mean. Will Andy Murray win Wimbledon? And they are just a few. For heaven's sake we need to know whether YP has/will return from Greece. Will Adrian manage to reconstruct all the equipment he's working on? Will any more of  Cro's Elderflower Champagne explode?

All this was just too much for me when I received an email from Amazon trying to persuade me to buy a tie rack.

Who buys tie racks these days? Mine was a gift about 50 years ago from the Mum of my oldest friend (we've known each other for 68 years) and it still holds some ties but who wears ties these days? I wear a tie perhaps a dozen times a year. [A dozen is 12. I say that because when I asked for a dozen of something recently the young lady looked at me blankly and asked what a dozen was.] 

So I thought that as an anti-dote to serious problems I'd show you the remnant of my tie collection. 
The ties that signify belonging: often gifts. Left to right: Amateur Fencing Association Coaches Club; I've been to St Kilda; presented to me by a visiting representative of the Falkands' Government; the tie of Caledonian MacBrayne - Scotland's principal ferry service provider (a reminder of the years I spent negotiating with the Company; the original tie of Comhairle nan Eilean (The Western Isles Islands Council).

A few of the ties that I still wear today (the others are in a wardrobe in Glasgow where I usually wear them!).

A miscellany of ties: New Zealand (I bought for myself). Apart from the yellow dragons which came from Hong Kong the rest are gifts. I occasionally wear the middle one when I go to parties at the donors'.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Here's A How-De-Do!

Wouldn't Gilbert and Sullivan be having a field day if they were alive and writing and composing just now? I would love to have the talent to parody some of their work and adapt it to modern circumstances.

I really want to write a considered serious post or two on the present situation because I think it is far more serious and the consequences far more far-reaching for our children and the world and the future of the countries that make up the United Kingdom. Indeed I may do that but for now I'll address one point: that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is not made up of four regions! People's ignorance astonishes me demonstrated by the number of time I have heard a reference on television and radio recently to Scotland being a region or area of the UK or, on one occasion, a region of England (sic) not even of the UK.

Perhaps it's the weather:

Monday, 27 June 2016


England voted out.

Iceland obliged.

Resignation followed.

Monday, 20 June 2016

First World Problems

After yesterday's post I wondered what First World problem I could come up with to rival that. Then I thought about Marmite jars.  The idea of upside down jars is great for sauces and the like but for Marmite? Forget it because it just doesn't work. Apart from needing hands with a vice-like grip (which fortunately I have even if they are not as strong as they used to be) you still have to take the top off to get at most of the contents towards the end. I'll stick with the traditional jar thank you.